Population dive should be rallying cry

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 20, 2011

Few expected the 2010 Census data to be uplifting and positive for Adams County — or much of anywhere else in Southwest Mississippi either.

But news that preliminary numbers indicate the population of Adams County has dropped by nearly 3,000 residents in the last 10 years is a sobering, unpleasant fact.

The loss of heavy industry in our area is a considerable factor, but it’s not the only one. Many communities across the country have lost industry to more economical options out of the country.

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Although, perhaps, our federal leaders can address those issues, local leaders can do little to effect change on the national level.

But locally we can do a few things that would help us improve our position on the economic — and subsequently the population — stage.

First among these is that we must start working together as an entire community. Our collective focus needs to be on working together to improve our own situation — not seeking to point blame or cry over what we’ve lost.

Our goal must be steady improvement. The people who have left our community and the dollars they took with them affect all of us — regardless of race, gender or social status.

When our population shrinks so does our economy.

That double-barreled problem should be our community’s single, driving force. We should look at the sobering news as a reality check and a challenge, not a certain death sentence.

We can change the direction of our community, but only if we work together.